Friday, November 18, 2011
Johnny Mercer: Too Marvelous For Words
Today marks the 102nd birthday of Savannah's favorite son, Johnny Mercer. Readers are aware that OTR knows a thing or two about the life and times of this remarkable personality. As a lyricist, composer, performer, businessman, and philanthropist, Mercer shaped much of the American popular music industry for forty years, beginning in the mid 1930s.
Two years ago, OTR wrote a seven part series on this man whose talent left us with almost 2000 published songs--and a few thousand unfinished pieces-- and a host of images in song that continue to entertain us more than thirty years after his passing in 1976. He can't improve on these posts so will link to them in this post for your convenience and enjoyment. Readers will find that several of the YouTube links are inactive, but don't worry, there are dozens of new Mercer uploads just a search away. The original Mercer essays are:
Day One: Mercer's Early Years
Day Two: Hoagy And Hollywood
Day Three: Sense Of Humor
Day Four: The Bread And Butter Songs
Day Five: On Line And Print References
Day Six: Personal Favorites
Day Seven: Cover Artists And Organizations Keep The Music Alive
Hope you enjoy these posts as much as OTR enjoyed writing them.
There are some additions to the body of work by and about Mercer. In late 2009, Kimball, Day, Kreuger, and Davis published The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer. This 500 page hardcover is the seventh volume in Knopf's Complete Lyrics series. In addition, a huge number of new music issues featuring Mercer and those who have covered his music have appeared in the last two years. Readers should consult their favorite sources for more information.